Looks like this is going to be a battle.

From the News-Sentinel and Times-Press ...

“The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified the Tennessee River as a likely source of water for North Georgia,” said Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, as he presented the resolution. “Yet the state of Tennessee has used mismarked boundary lines to block our access to this important waterway.”



R. Neal's picture

Simple solution: move the

Simple solution: move the river.



TVA says it has not recommended using the river as a primary water source for North Georgia. "We aren’t certain where Sen. Shafer got his information, but TVA is not involved in this discussion at this point," TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said.

Brian A.'s picture

So that Georgia legislator

So that Georgia legislator just made that TVA claim up?

R. Neal's picture

That's what TVA says. Maybe

That's what TVA says. Maybe he found it in some obscure 1970s study justifying the Tellico Dam or something.

Knoxoasis's picture

This is why we have a Second

This is why we have a Second Amendment.

Min's picture


...this is why we have state Attorneys General and federal courts.

jbr's picture

Other ramifications

Looking at the map it looks like It isnt just the Georgia/Tennessee boundary.

It would also impact Alabama/Tennessee and I assume Mississippi.

Plus Nickajack Lake. What were the TVA/Nickajack/Thornton issues going on at one time?

Sandy Lusk 's picture

We'll go to war over this

before Georgia gets water from the Tennessee River. If Georgia did any conservation or sustainable development, it would be a different matter, but they don't. The continually build McMansions and asphalt over sensitive lands.

How about building some de-salienation plants and tap off the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia? They are not getting our water.

Average Guy's picture


Georgia could do plenty to help their water situation than demand it from others.

For the number of decades this has been a known problem, they have proceeded exactly opposite of any solutions.

Average Guy's picture

Sho nuff!

Freedom to choose between sprinkler systems or rain barrels.

You've abused your freedom Georgia, now go take a mud bath in what used to be Lake Lanier.

reform4's picture

Wasn't it...

... Wasn't it a Georgia survey team that drew the line in the (supposedly) wrong place those many years ago??

R. Neal's picture

Don't remember exactly, but

Don't remember exactly, but seem to recall something about second hand defective lowest bidder surveying tools or something. Also, drinking may have been involved.

reform4's picture

Kjoint team led by UGA mathematics professor.

Insert your own like below....


R. Neal's picture

More history

Thanks for the clue to jog my memory. Here's some more history:

James Camak botches surveying the GA/TN border. Twice.

The Mystery of the Camak Stone

Georgia-Tennessee Border Marker Replaced

Morton, a physician and attorney who came to the stone's setting because of his interest in history and his book, suggested the group should have brought wine to christen the new marker.

"Moonshine would be more like it," joked Robert Cagle, a Tennessee surveyor and officer of the Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Land Surveyors Historical Society.

It was homemade liquor, some historians say, that played a role in the stone's first flawed setting.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Not sure if the Tennnessee Code comes into play here or the U. S. Code, but...

TCA 5-2-114 through 117 covers the subject of county boundaries within TN and the section says that the State Board of Equalization will decide any county boundary disputes.

However, that section also says that any county boundary in place five or more years may not after that point be disputed.

Even if this section of the state code isn't applicable, though, I'd think the U. S. Code has similar instruction?

Surely the window of opportunity to dispute a state border closes much earlier than GA would like to think???

Russ's picture

Surely the window of

Surely the window of opportunity to dispute a state border closes much earlier than GA would like to think???

Nope. Virginia and Maryland had a border dispute dating back to the 1700s which was finally settled by the US Supreme Court in 2003.

reform4's picture


TN and GA are both red states.

What will Scalia, Thomas, ET al use then to base their decision on? They'll be totally lost if they have to use, I dunno, the law or something. Maybe some intern can help them out on this one.

Andy Axel's picture

Prior appropriation be "dammed"

smalc's picture

Directional drilling crossed

Directional drilling crossed my mind too. If they can drill thousands of feet horizontally for natural gas...
TN: What's that, a new natural gas fracking well?
GA: Uh, sure.
TN: Great, energy independence!
GA: Yep
TN: What's that sucking sound in the river?

Heck, they wouldn't need to even punch into the river channel. Just drill close by, frack the hell out of it, and recover the "groundwater".

Factchecker's picture

Exactly. How many millions of

Exactly. How many millions of gallons of water per fracked well are we in all states destroying by not being able to recover the newly polluted fracking water, either because its pumped into the ground or too polluted if pumped back out? I've heard it's 1-9 million gallons per well, on average. Some of it may be recoverable. It's just madness and anything but sustainable.

Also, how much water is Coca-Cola, headquartered in Atlanta, hoarding (stealing, really) to sell for itself? Seen "Tapped"?

Rachel's picture

Yawn. This is a waste of

Yawn. This is a waste of time to even discuss. Not gonna happen.

AnonymousOne's picture

Future wars will be over

Future wars will be over water. Especially in the Middle East. Increasing populations, less water=real problems. Don't kid yourself, worldwide it's a big deal.

Min's picture


Wars will be fought because of the scarcity of all resources...water, food, fuel. Unless, by some miracle, we get control of population and consumption of resources.

But I'm not holding my breath.

R. Neal's picture

I attended an ETSPJ

I attended an ETSPJ Environmental Journalism conference a few years ago.

The keynote speaker, Jim Degjen, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, said at the time that "water wars" would be an important topic to follow.

Never imagined it would keep coming up in our own state.

Rachel's picture

Well yes, water wars are

Well yes, water wars are possible, if not probable, in the future.

But nobody is moving the Ga-Tenn state line any time soon.

jbr's picture

How much?

How much water does Georgia want to take? I am guessing it will be a lot. How would that affect the impact of the Tennessee River everywhere else?

From USGS ....

Estimates vary, but each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day.

How much water does the average person use at home per day?

USGS Georgia Water Science Center


From Center for Biological Diversity ...

“Despite attempts to blame this water crisis on Mother Nature, intrusive regulations, or endangered species, this study clearly identifies the true culprit,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The culprit is us — a rapidly growing human population with unsustainable consumption habits.”

Study Shows Water Shortages in Southeast United States
Are Due to Overpopulation, Likely to Be Repeated

WhitesCreek's picture

This was litigated 40 years

This was litigated 40 years ago and Ga lost. I was living in Atlanta at the time and my Mom was a Deputy Director in the Sec of State's office. Ben Fortson was the Sec of State. He was the first guy I know who said, "Not a man woman or child in the good State of Georgia is safe while our legislature is in session." Mr. Ben thought Legislators were stupid to start with and got dumber by the minute.

Brian A.'s picture

I read on one news site that

I read on one news site that the existing boundary had been ratified (whatever that means) by the Tennessee legislature, but not by Georgia.

Is this an accurate description?

barkers's picture


TVA controls the Tennessee River, regardless of where the state boundaries lie. TVA has tried to stay above the fray (my guess is that they have been giggling about the Georgia Legislature while keeping a straight face in public). But looking at their policies is instructive.

This is from the TVA website, in a section about river management:

"In May 2004, the TVA Board of Directors approved a new policy for operating the Tennessee River and reservoir system. This policy shifts the focus of TVA reservoir operations from achieving specific summer pool elevations on TVA-managed reservoirs to managing the flow of water through the river system.

"The new policy specifies flow requirements for individual reservoirs and for the system as a whole. Reservoir-specific flow requirements keep the riverbed below that reservoir’s dam from drying out. System-wide flow requirements ensure that enough water flows through the river system to meet downstream needs."

So basically, even if Georgia prevails in court on the boundary issue, the amount of water that could be diverted would be minimal because TVA must keep water flows up to a certain level.

jbr's picture

8 Mighty Rivers Run Dry From Overuse

National Geographic has a series focusing on fresh water

8 Mighty Rivers Run Dry From Overuse

Water Grabbers: A Global Rush on Freshwater


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